With the release of the first MerCruiser sterndrive at the Chicago Boat Show in 1961, Mercury Marine founder Carl Kiekhaefer forever changed the boating industry. Until then, outboards were the standard in marine engines, but Kiekhaefer’s sterndrive allowed boaters to maintain outboard-like maneuverability in a package that offered unprecedented recreational boating power. With its already stellar marine reputation, MerCruiser quickly captured a commanding majority of the recreational market. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, MerCruiser continues to lead the industry, guided by the same trailblazing ethic that inspired Kiekhaefer’s historic first sterndrive.